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It's a Boy! Akron Zoo Welcomes a Pygmy Slow Loris

1 slow loris

Akron Zoo in Ohio has announced the birth of a rare Pygmy Slow Loris! The baby, a male, was born August 21 and weighed less than an ounce (21 g) at birth. According to the zoo’s veterinary staff, the baby has been thriving and currently weighs about .4 pounds (185 grams). First-time mom Casey is doing an excellent job raising her baby behind-the-scenes in the zoo’s animal care center. 

The pygmy slow loris is a highly threatened primate and listed as a Vulnerable species on the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. 

“The birth of this rare primate is critical to the future of this species,” commented Akron Zoo President & CEO L. Patricia Simmons. “Trying to save threatened species like the pygmy slow loris and educate people about them is the vital role we, as an accredited zoo through the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, play. Births like this are extraordinary and I commend our animal care staff for their hard work.”

3 slow loris

2 slow lorisPhoto credits: Akron Zoo

The Slow Loris gets its name in part from its slow, sloth-like movements. On average, full-sized adults weigh about 7-14 ounces (about 200-400 grams). The Pygmy Slow Loris is indigenous to Vietnam, Laos, China, Thailand, and Cambodia. Their diet generally consists of fruits, insects, vegetation and small mammals.They are primarily threatened due to deforestation, hunting and capture for pet trade. 

The new baby is the second to be born at the zoo. Frank, the baby’s father, is the also the father of the zoo's first Pygmy Slow Loris baby, born in 2008.

The Akron Zoo keeps these primates as part of the Pygmy Loris Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. Through scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs, SSP’s are a proactive approach to preventing extinction. SSP's were formed back in 1981 to help ensure the survival of endangered species.